July 02, 2010

Another stray Red-tailed Hawk fledgling gets a new home and family

This past Wednesday saw the release of another RTH fledgling by the rehabilitation team of Bobby and Cathy Horvath. This young male, from the Bronx, was found snared on barbed wire fence in a heavily industrial area on Bruckner Blvd. Attempts to locate the nest it came from or its parents were unsuccessful, so it was decided that a foster home/parents would be the hawks best chance of survival. Even after fledging, RTH's still need the protection and guidance of their parents as they can not hunt for themselves yet. Bobby contacted Brooklyn birder Rob Jett to see if any of the RTH nests in either Prospect Park or Greenwood Cemetery could handle an extra fledgling. Rob had discovered one of the fledglings from the Greenwood Cemetery had perished recently, leaving the RTH pair (Junior and Big Mama) at the cemetery with only one remaining fledgling.  Bobby and Cathy decided it would be worth a try as this RTH pair is well established in this area, and the Greenwood Cemetery is an amazing and safe place for Hawks to live. The Hawks have 480 acres of space to roam around safely without having to worry about traffic, glass buildings or other human disturbances.

We met up with Rob at the front entrance to the cemetery and he led us to the RTH nest. The remaining fledgling, a large female, was spotted rather quickly in a Oak tree near the nest.

It was Bobby and Cathy's son Christopher's birthday, so he had the honor of releasing the fledgling. It was hoped when released that the young male would fly into the same tree as his new sister, but he had other plans.

Christopher and the fledgling

 He ended up about 200 feet away in a London Plane Tree instead. Curious as to what was going on, his new sister decided to check him out.

 Fledgling male on the left, female on the right

As of the time we left the cemetery, the parents were seen nearby, but they had not seen the new fledgling yet. To follow the story further, please check out Rob Jett's excellent birding website.

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